Previously ranked No. 8 when they beat the Buckeyes, the Spartans jumped two spots to No. 6 in this week’s poll. It was an impressive win for Michigan State but wasn’t too bad of a loss for Ohio State, While they could have won the game if they fixed a handful of mistakes, a game like that against a top-10 team allowed the Buckeyes to see just how far they still have to go to compete with the big dogs. With that said, the scarlet and gray may not be the most talented team on the court, especially this season, but you can bet that head coach Chris Holtmann will get the most out of his players and they will be very solid defensively. They just need more playmakers.
It was Ohio State’s first loss of the Big Ten season. They are now 2-1 and will look to bounce back in a very tough conference, one that is considered the best in the country. The bad news about that is that Buckeye Nation must be prepared for plenty more losses prior to the end of the regular season; the positive is that with such a tough conference, the Buckeyes will be prepared once March rolls around.
The top-four teams in the rankings remained the same, with Duke (37 first-place votes) at the top of the poll followed by Michigan (nine), Tennessee (13), and Virginia (five). With Kansas getting blown out at Iowa State this past weekend, the Jayhawks fell to No. 7. Gonzaga jumped two spots to round out the top five.
Along with Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State, Indiana (No. 22) is the only other Big Ten team that is ranked this week. The conference will look to improve on that in the near future. The Wolverines and Spartans are by far the class of the conference this season, but the Buckeyes aren’t too far behind. Given the fact that they were projected to finish in the bottom half of the Big Ten this season just like they were last season, the fact that they are even ranked is a surprise to many.
Even with the loss and drop in the rankings, Holtmann’s Buckeyes have to keep the momentum going, especially with Big Ten season (finally) here